Serving the communities of Valley Springs, Burson and Wallace
Gail Belmont hands out one of 1,354 Quilts of Valor to Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Rancho family returns from "amazing" journey
The cross-country journey undertaken earlier this month to deliver more than 1,000 Quilts of Valor to combat-veteran Marines stationed a Camp Lejeune in North Carolina was a “truly amazing experience,” said Gail Belmont.
Belmont, a veteran herself and the Northern California Quilts of Valor coordinator, left Rancho Calaveras June 6 with her parents Bob and Virginia Belmont on the trip, which made a number of stops along the way collecting quilts for distribution June 15 to Marines in the 3/8’s Battalion who recently returned home from combat deployment in Afghanistan.
Quilts of Valor anticipated collecting 1,200 quilts from chapters throughout the nation, but the final total reached 1,354, Gail said.
“It was a great trip and a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” she added.
Video, photos and blogs of the journey have been posted to the Quilts of Valor website at quiltsofvalor.wordpress.com.
In addition, the Belmonts’ trip is expected to be featured on KCRA Channel 3 News.
An increase in fees could further delay construction of a new shopping center in Valley Springs.
Developer says fee increase will harm recovery
Calaveras County’s Road Impact Mitigation – or RIM – fees
are scheduled to increase July 6 and one Valley Springs developer says
the move will be counter-productive in these recessionary times.
Floyd Norried, who along with Guy Meyers of Valley Springs and
Roy Hifai of Los Altos a year ago received approval for the proposed
Valley Springs Community Shopping Center off Highway 26 at Hogan Dam
Road, said the latest hike in fees does not make economic common sense.
The site plan for Norried’s shopping center on the southeast
corner of the intersection at Highway 26 and Hogan Dam Road calls for
seven buildings totaling 91,849 square feet with one of them – a
potential supermarket - at 51,108 square feet.
RIM fees for just the supermarket will go from $440,000 under the
old fee schedule to $551,200 under the new one, Norried said.
“And that doesn’t include all of the other fees tied to the
project such as planning fees, building permit fees, sewer and water,”
“There’s no need to raise fees at this time – there are no
customers,” he said. “If the county had lowered the fees by 20
percent, maybe we would have had a customer or two interested.”
The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the increase at a
May 5 meeting. The fee hike reflects the increase in the Construction
Cost Index since RIM fees were initially adopted in February 2004. The
RIM fee for a single-family residence will increase from $3,300 to
“They don’t have much common sense,” Norried said of the
Another area developer does not share Norried’s view.
“In comparison to other communities, our fees are not over the
top,” said Dave Tanner of Tanner Consulting Group. “There are a
number of fees we don’t have – such as park fees – so our fees are
With the recession, construction at a standstill and the new
fees, Norried did not have any idea when his project would move forward.
The investment group was looking at attracting a larger,
full-service grocery store such as Raley’s, Save-Mart or Safeway –
to serve as the center’s anchor tenant with the potential to attract
other major chains to the site. It was estimated that the shopping
center would have created 150 jobs with about 30 percent of them being
full-time with benefits.
Field of Flags pledge time
Wallace/Burson Association on Independence Day – Saturday, July 4 -
will grace the landscape near Wallace with more than 100 U.S. flags in
their popular “Field of Flags For Love and Gratitude” display.
Each flag is dedicated to active, retired or deceased military,
police, firefighters or others who have helped preserve Americans'
freedom and safety.
This Independence Day marks the fourth year the association has
provided the display near the county line. Those who wish to sponsor a
flag on behalf of an individual to be honored can donate $20 to the
association. The flag's label will name the sponsor and the honoree and
will be sent to the sponsor as a memento of the occasion. The
association will also publish an appreciation list in the local media.
For more information and to sponsor a flag, call (209) 547-3244,
or e-mail email@example.com.
The ever-popular Black Irish Band will perform Wednesday evening in Valley Springs.
Music in the Parks to feature Black Irish Band
Sonora’s Black Irish Band will be making their 14th appearance
in the Music in the Parks series when they head to the Valley Springs
ball field on Wednesday, June 24.
The free concert, presented by the Calaveras Arts Council will
begin at 6:30 p.m. The Black Irish Band is the only band the council has
brought back nearly every year for the Music in the Parks concert
series. Connecting music with history in a very crowd-pleasing way is
the secret to the band’s success over the past 20 years.
The musical style of The Black Irish Band captures the spirit of
the immigrants of this land, the men and women who tamed the Wild West.
The band has a large repertoire of traditional maritime and railroad
music, as well as ethnic tunes. They excel at Irish, Italian, and
American folk music with an assortment of original songs and traditional
All band members join in the vocals. Founding band member,
artist, and Celtic Faire coordinator is Patrick Karnahan. He’s Irish,
of course, has been playing music for more than 35 years, and performs
on banjo, melodeon, concertina, guitar, and trumpet.
Sicilian Richard Restivo has been teaching music to children for
more than 20 years. He performs on acoustic and electric bass, and
Steve McArthur, who’s Scottish and Canadian, has been playing
music for more than 48 years on accordion, piano, guitar, and mandolin.
Englishman Jim Nelson is a longtime San Francisco balladeer and
puts a maritime stamp on the band’s music. He performs on a custom
David Rainwater, English and Irish, is an acclaimed fiddle and
mandolin wizard. He’s very original and has performed for more than 40
The Black Irish Band has produced at least 16 albums, many of
which will be for sale at the concert. Desserts will be available
benefiting the local girls’ softball team.
The public is encouraged to bring picnics, low-back chairs and
short sun umbrellas to the ball field.
For more information on the free countywide concert series this
summer, visit www.calaverasarts.org.
The next free Music in the Parks concert will be July 1 in Mokelumne
Hill. It will feature James Faifua & The Jukes.
Kelly and Michael Peters have opened Country Club Drug Store in Suite 6 in La Contenta Plaza at 1919 Vista Del Lago.
Valley Springs becomes a two drug store town
Longs Drugs/CVS Pharmacy has some competition in Valley Springs.
Michael and Kelly Peters this week opened Country Club Drug Store
in Suite 6 in La Contenta Plaza at 1919 Vista Del Lago.
The Peters were the previous owners of Parkwoods Drug in Stockton
and sold their interest in the store to move out to the country, said
Michael, who has been a pharmacist for 15 years.
Country Club Drug Store is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays
through Fridays and is centrally located near the Valley Springs Family
Medical Center and many of the community’s dental offices.
“We’re excited to work with the community,” Michael said.
Country Club Drug Store will emphasize patient services such as
free delivery. The store will provide free delivery for a customer twice
a month in the immediate area, he said, and offer mail delivery service
to customers in outlying areas.
Blister card packages that segregate medications by what day of
the week and what time they should be taken are another convenience,
especially for the elderly, his drug store will provide, Michael said.
“They’re a very big help,” he added. “You can easily see
what you need.”
He will also take the time to discuss medications and pricing
with his customers.
“I want to help people make good choices with their
If there is a similar medication at a lower price, he’ll
provide the information to his customer so they can ask their doctor
whether the lower-priced medication can be substituted.
Country Club Drugs Store also offers competitively priced
prescription plans and will discount many items the chain drug stores do
not, Michael said.
He plans to open a compounding lab in the next few months and
uses Valley Wholesale out of Stockton for non-prescription type items
than can be available to customers the next day.
County Club Drug Store’s phone number is 772-1633 and the fax
number is 772-1676.
The Ridge at Trinitas continues to be embroiled in controversy.
loan default in wake of Trinitas decision
Lawsuits and notices of default are the latest chapters in The
Ridge at Trinitas saga.
Mike and Michelle Nemee sought to develop their property off
Ospital Road into a golf course resort. However, the county Board of
Supervisors last month denied their proposal.
The Nemees have filed a pair of lawsuits against the county, but
also face notices of default.
The Nemees’ “Complaint For Declaratory Relief” was filed
May 15 by San Andreas attorney Kenneth Foley and asserts golf is a
permissible use on their property under the county’s agritourism
The first court appearance is scheduled for July 20 regarding
filing compliance and a case management conference has been set for
The first lawsuit came after then-interim Community Development
Director Brent Harrington sent the Nemees’ a letter advising them to
discontinue all golfing activities on their property.
In the meantime, the Nemees have also filed an appeal of
Harrington’s letter to the county Planning Commission. They are
awaiting word when the county will hear their appeal.
The second lawsuit against the county was filed June 4. It is a
“Petition For Writ of Mandate.”
It alleges the county improperly denied approval of The Ridge at
The lawsuit contends that county employees “adversarial to the
project and who for years had been attempting to defeat the project”
were instrumental in controlling the planning process and defeating the
Other than to say “the lawsuits speak for themselves,” Mike
Nemee said he has been instructed by his attorneys not to comment on his
cases against the county.
As of Thursday morning, a hearing date has not been set on the
writ of mandate.
Concerning the Notice of default, Mike Nemee said, " Due to the fact that we (us and the bank) are both parties of interest in both current and pending litigation with Calaveras County it is inappropriate for us to comment on the matter at this time."
According to documents filed June 4 in the county clerk’s
office, several notices of default were filed in an attempt to collect
debts from Mike and Michelle Nemee. The Community Bank of San Joaquin is
seeking payments for loan amounts of $84,245.78, $335,878 and
$2,030,267.12 as of June 1.
The notices warn the Nemees “If your property is in foreclosure
because you are behind in your payments it may be sold without any court
No sale date may be set until three months from the date the
notices of default were recorded, according to the documentation.
In addition to the golf course, the Nemees sought to build a
clubhouse, lodge, restaurant and 13-home gated community on their
property. Supervisors Merita Callaway, Tom Tryon and Steve Wilensky
voted to deny the project, while Russ Thomas and Gary Tofanelli voted in
Three girls enjoy a shower provided at Saturday’s Kids' Day by the crew of Foothill Fire Protection District’s No. 148 Ladder Truck.
Kids' Day attracts nearly 300 youngsters
The 14th annual Kids’ Day attracted nearly 300
youngsters 12 years old and under and was packed full of games, crafts
and entertainment, said Marti Crane, one of the event’s organizers.
The annual event was held Saturday at the Valley Springs
Elementary School playfield.
A highlight of the event was the landing of the air ambulance
that scattered safety literature from the Jenny Lind Fire Protection
District display throughout the playground.
However, within two minutes all of the children had gathered the
papers and things were back to normal, Crane said.
“You can’t say enough about the Valley Springs Youth
Center,” she added. “They took over the lunch segment and did a
thoroughly professional job.”
The center’s members were dressed in new T-shirts promoting the
youth center’s program and provided signage to inform the rest of the
children of the day’s event, Crane said.
“They presented themselves well,” she added.
This year’s Kids’ Day also formalized the Valley Springs
Optimist Club’s partnership with Sheng Chi Fitness Center in hosting
Picture-perfect weather greeted the youngsters on Kids’ Day,
something Crane doubted when showers rolled into the area on Wednesday
and threatening weather continued Thursday and Friday.